Abusing Covid-19 Public Curfew

By K.N. Pandita

How sad that some intransigent people in some parts of the country fail to listen to the warnings issued by the government at various levels. No less a person than the Prime Minister repeatedly said that he would request the public with folded hands to stay back home and not come out on streets to make crowds. The reason for this kind of unique appeal and with such a profound humility by the highest authority in the country deserves extraordinary regard and response.

The nation has responded very positively to the call of the Prime Minister. Complete public curfew has been ensured by the responsible Indian nation. It is worth remembering that the entire nation of 130 million people has fully responded to the call given by the Prime Minister. The call is not for his party and its affiliates; the call is not to be sympathetic towards his government. No, the call is for the people of this country from a new-born baby to a centurion senior citizen. The call is to ensure their health and wellness and to keep the epidemic away.

Unfortunately, a handful of miscreants or irresponsible people have failed to grasp the seriousness of the issue and have broken the code of conduct officially declared by the government. There have been reports of some miscreants entering into an argument with the doctors and the Para-medical staff engaged in taking care of the patients of the pandemic brought to the hospitals for either treatment or tests. One cannot help hanging one’s head in shame on such disappointing stories. Instead of lending a helping hand and appreciating what services the medical staff is rendering at the risk of its life and wellness, some miscreants are reported to have roughed up the medical and Para-medical staff. It is completely shameful and unacceptable behaviour never to be condoned by a cultured society.

People need to understand the gravity of the situation. Italy, Spain, Iran and the UK are among the advanced societies with immensely advanced and efficient health services. Yet despite all that, the pandemic has wrought havoc in those societies. God forbid if the intensity of the pandemic spreads and deepens one will shudder at the scenario which will be there to see and lament at for the vast and teeming millions of Indians. Nothing will survive. Already, the pandemic has begun to eat into the vitals of the world economy and if the grave situation is not controlled as early as possible the consequence are horrendous. The devastation of life can be so grave as to keep the survivors away from disposing of the dead bodies because of the fear of contagion.

In the background of this scenario, it is of great importance that we appreciate the pre-emptive strike by the Modi government at the roots of expansion of the virus. In good advance, the Prime Minister worked on several fronts silently but effectively to keep the predator away from causing vast damage to human life. We don’t think that any European country took so quick and so effective and timely steps to stonewall the impending disaster. Galvanizing the vast medical and paramedical manpower into action, tightening the administrative machinery in all the states and gearing it up for meeting the grave challenge, ensuring civil supplies to 130 million mouths, updating the entire administrative machinery on day o day and hour to hour basis, are no small tasks for a country of our size. We should understand with what dedication and fortitude he is trying to protect the entire country from this scourge that has been thrust on the world through human error or intransigence.

In such a situation, it is absurd that a handful of people want to run their own will and disregard the dangers involved for the rest of the people in their neighbourhood. By defying the public curfew the defaulters are not inviting serious trouble for themselves only but for the broader sections of society as well. They need to understand what a filthy role they are playing by defying the official guidelines.

It has to be remembered that doctors, nurses, Para-medical manpower, karamcharis etc. are also human beings and vulnerable to the impact of the epidemic. Yet despite these dangerously looming threats, they have volunteered to serve the people irrespective of any consideration. Are not they entitled to the safety and security of health? Why do these defaulters endanger their lives and for what purpose? If they do not desist from breaking the law and endangering society, there are only two options to handle them. Either they should be rounded up and sent behind the bars or allowed to get lost to their families and society.

Some people put under quarantine are reported to have given a slip to the police and run away. When arrested, they complained that there were not adequate facilities in the quarantine. This depicts nothing but insensitivity and foolhardiness. When the entire country is engulfed in a life and death struggle, do they expect the government to give them five-star hospitality in the quarantine? If they are made of delicate stuff they can ask for their private quarantine arrangement under the supervision of the law enforcing agencies. This is a strange logic. If the government did not provide the isolation arrangement they would cry hoarse and now that the government has provided it they expect VIP treatment.

Compare the disaster which the pandemic has brought to the advanced countries with the enormous efforts made by the Modi government to keep the human loss as low as possible; we should have all the praise for the administrative machinery in this country. People must learn to live with fortitude and bear small inconveniences against the looming fear of death and destruction. The entire world is watching India, with the second-largest population in the world as to how it is going to meet the challenge. This will prove the greatness of this country. A few defaulters and miscreants will not be allowed to imperil the lives of millions of people. People coming from foreign countries with the mission of religious propagation are reported to be kept hidden in worshipping places by their local conduits so that they are not exposed to police investigation. This is a criminal and anti-national act against the interests of the people. No country in the world will tolerate such aberrations. The law of the land should take its normal course.

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